An agricultural burn off Mottsville Lane was on its way out on Monday, when a willow stand caught fire in the wind at about 2 p.m., sending flames shooting 30 feet in the air.
“The owner was doing all the right things,” Fire Marshal Steve Eisele said. “He was burning small sections, keeping the flames low, and as they were mopping up the fire after they’d finished burning, they noticed smoke coming from across the canal on the property on the other side.”
The smoke was coming from a stand of tall willows, which started to burn fiercely as afternoon winds came up and fanned the flames. Within minutes of arriving at the scene a second alarm was issued as the 1.5-acre fire burned toward corrals and a barn. Dense smoke could be seen rising in a plume from the middle of the Valley.
Units requested a representative from NV Energy because the fire had spread under power lines, as well as traffic control on Mottsville.
By 2:52 p.m., forward progression of the fire had been stopped, and crews began mopping up the site.
Eisele said firefighters completed work on the fire at about 6:30 p.m.
“The fire required extensive mop-up due to the willows,” Eisele said. “There was a lot of chain saw work. Fortunately, we caught it before it hit the neighbor’s house. There were no injuries, and no structural damage.”
Firefighters from Sheridan, Ruhenstroth, Gardnerville, Minden and Gardnerville Ranchos responded to the blaze. A Nevada Division Forestry hand crew helped to mop up the fire.
Eisele said dry conditions in the Valley contributed to both the Mottsville fire and a house fire in Dresslerville early Tuesday morning.
“The real message is that we haven’t had any moisture in our region, and there’s not a whole lot predicted,” he said. “Anyone conducting any type of outdoor burning needs to be very cautious due to the dry vegetation that already exists. Keep clearances, make sure fires are totally extinguished, and are overhauled completely.”